The Surgical Techniques and Outcomes of Secondary Phalloplasty After Metoidioplasty in Transgender Men: An International, Multi-Center Case Series

J Sex Med. 2019 Nov;16(11):1849-1859. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.07.027. Epub 2019 Sep 18.


Introduction: Some transgender men express the wish to undergo genital gender-affirming surgery. Metoidioplasty and phalloplasty are procedures that are performed to construct a neophallus. Genital gender-affirming surgery contributes to physical well-being, but dissatisfaction with the surgical results may occur. Disadvantages of metoidioplasty are the relatively small neophallus, the inability to have penetrative sex, and often difficulty with voiding while standing. Therefore, some transgender men opt to undergo a secondary phalloplasty after metoidioplasty. Literature on secondary phalloplasty is scarce.

Aim: Explore the reasons for secondary phalloplasty, describe the surgical techniques, and report on the clinical outcomes.

Methods: Transgender men who underwent secondary phalloplasty after metoidioplasty were retrospectively identified in 8 gender surgery clinics (Amsterdam, Belgrade, Bordeaux, Austin, Ghent, Helsinki, Miami, and Montreal). Preoperative consultation, patient motivation for secondary phalloplasty, surgical technique, perioperative characteristics, complications, and clinical outcomes were recorded.

Main outcome measure: The main outcome measures were surgical techniques, patient motivation, and outcomes of secondary phalloplasty after metoidioplasty in transgender men.

Results: Eighty-three patients were identified. The median follow-up was 7.5 years (range 0.8-39). Indicated reasons to undergo secondary phalloplasty were to have a larger phallus (n = 32; 38.6%), to be able to have penetrative sexual intercourse (n = 25; 30.1%), have had metoidioplasty performed as a first step toward phalloplasty (n = 17; 20.5%), and to void while standing (n = 15; 18.1%). Each center had preferential techniques for phalloplasty. A wide variety of surgical techniques were used to perform secondary phalloplasty. Intraoperative complications (revision of microvascular anastomosis) occurred in 3 patients (5.5%) undergoing free flap phalloplasty. Total flap failure occurred in 1 patient (1.2%). Urethral fistulas occurred in 23 patients (30.3%) and strictures in 27 patients (35.6%).

Clinical implications: A secondary phalloplasty is a suitable option for patients who previously underwent metoidioplasty.

Strengths & limitations: This is the first study to report on secondary phalloplasty in collaboration with 8 specialized gender clinics. The main limitation was the retrospective design.

Conclusion: In high-volume centers specialized in gender affirming surgery, a secondary phalloplasty in transgender men can be performed after metoidioplasty with complication rates similar to primary phalloplasty. Al-Tamimi M, Pigot GL, van der Sluis WB, et al. The Surgical Techniques and Outcomes of Secondary Phalloplasty After Metoidioplasty in Transgender Men: An International, Multi-Center Case Series. J Sex Med 2019;16:1849-1859.

Keywords: Gender-Affirming Surgery; Genital Surgery; Metoidioplasty; Phalloplasty; Transgender Men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Free Tissue Flaps
  • Genitalia, Male / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Reassignment Surgery / methods*
  • Transgender Persons*
  • Transsexualism / surgery*
  • Urethra / pathology
  • Young Adult